On average, a patient in the German health insurance system has to wait approximately six months for their first appointment with a psychotherapist. This is, potentially, a dangerously long time for people with mental illness to have to wait.
Psychologio is a new start-up that wants to change this, shortening the waiting time down to just a few weeks. Those affected can search for psychotherapists in their area on the platform and also request appointments online. The clinics then have approximately three weeks to respond to requests.
If the patient does not get an appointment with a therapist in their area, they can alternatively contact professionals that are not covered by the health insurance system. The reason is that according to the German Social Code, those affected who do not receive timely help from practices within the health system can visit private therapists. Here, “timely” means within three months. The respective health insurance provider must then reimburse the treatment costs.
When using Psychologio, patients will automatically receive a record of the unfulfilled contact. This proof must be submitted to the health insurance in order to apply for reimbursement. In this case, the person concerned may then turn to a private practice for treatment.
The company was founded in 2016 by Anabel Ternès, a graduate in psycholinguistics. Julian Maar is also a co-founder of Psychologio. Together, the two not only run HealthMedo GmbH, the company behind Psychologio, but they also operate the crowd logistics start-up CoCarrier.
The platform is free for both patients and therapists, while Psychologio makes money by selling chargeable packages to private therapists, such as a larger profile page. Since the launch of Psychologio in October 2016, 3,000 appointments have been arranged.